GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIADVISORY
ANC 6E01: Alexander M. Padro, Chair
ANC 6E02: Kevin L. Chapple, Treasurer
ANC 6E03: Frank S. Wiggins
ANC 6E04: Rachelle P. Nigro, Vice Chair
ANC 6E05: Marge Maceda, Secretary
ANC 6E06: Alvin O. Judd, Sr.
ANC 6E07: Alfreda S. Judd
PO Box 26182, Ledroit Park Station
Washington, DC 20001
January 17, 2014
DEPUTY MAYOR FOR PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
1350 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW
WASHINGTON DC 20004
Dear Deputy Mayor Hoskins:
Regarding the disposition of 901 5th Street, NW (also known as 5th & I Streets, NW; Square 0516, Lot 0059):
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6E conducted a public meeting on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, 1630 7th Street, NW, to consider your office’s request for input from the Commission on the four proposals for the redevelopment of the site in question.
At the Commission’s meeting, duly noticed and with this case listed in the notice, with a quorum present (four out of seven Commissioners required to be in attendance to achieve a quorum), ANC 6E voted unanimously (7 in favor, 0 opposed, and no abstentions), to transmit to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Mayor Gray the requested observations and recommendations discussed by the Commission.
In considering the four short-listed developer’s proposals, and as a result of extensive community consultations and questioning of the applicants’ representatives present at a public meeting in December 2013, the Commission determined the following:
1) The community’s most important goal in the redevelopment of the site is the creation of new and improved parks, playgrounds, dog parks, and green spaces within the Mount Vernon Triangle, which is located in Single Member District 6E05.
2) In order to ensure that the new parks and park improvements that are described in the developers’ proposals are delivered as promised, the Commission recommends that design and construction of these green spaces begin immediately following the execution of the Land Disposition Agreement for the site.
3) The Commission further recommends that $2.5 Million be required to be placed in escrow by the successful bidder upon execution of the Land Disposition Agreement to ensure that funding is in place to ensure an immediate start on these elements of the project.
4) The Commission recommends that DMPED obtain written assurances from the Department of Parks and Recreation that DPR will accept a dog park paid for by the winning developer even if the site is less than the agency’s established 10,000 square foot standard.
5) The Commission recommends that the successful bidder contract with the Mount Vernon Square Community Improvement District for the maintenance of the parks and greenspaces that will be created and improved as part of the developer’s plans.
6) The Commission recommends that DMPED, in consultation with the National Park Service, develop plans for the transfer of jurisdiction for the NPS-managed pocket parks included in several proposals, including a timeline for accomplishing the transfer from federal to local control.
7) Most current residents are more interested in what neighborhood-serving retail will be included in each development proposal than the upper floor uses. Business types that are complementary to those already in place, such as a pet store, bakery, card and gift shop, clothing store, toy and game store, and BicycleSPACE would all be welcome additions. Additional restaurants should be discouraged.
8) General Comments: In light of the multiple projects underway in the Mount Vernon Triangle, significant concerns have been expressed regarding traffic, parking, transportation, and construction staging impacts related to the site’s development. The non-residential projects proposed by two of the short-list bidders are attractive in that they will bring daytime food traffic that will benefit retailers in the Mount Vernon Triangle and will not add to the demand for government services in the same way that further residential development would.
9) Comments on Peebles Proposal: Low-income housing in Anacostia provides no benefit to the residents of Mount Vernon Triangle. The lack of park and greenspace plans in this proposal makes it unresponsive to the community’s most critical interests. The suggestion that hotel amenities are community benefits, and that the opportunity would be asked to pay for community meetings to be hosted at the proposed hotel, further demonstrates the lack of consideration of the neighborhood on the part of the developer.
10) Comments on MTC/JBG Proposal: The retail types proposed (organic retailer and BicycleSPACE) match the community’s new business priorities. The developer was the first to contact the National Park Service about upgrading the adjacent pocket parks as part of their proposal. Insufficient information was provided regarding the proposed storefront improvement and streetscape small business grant program, how it would be administered, and what involvement the community would have in the process. A community or meeting room should have been included in the proposal.
11) Comments on CSG/Trammel Crow Proposal: The developer’s experience with the Mount Vernon Triangle and Mount Vernon Square area was obvious. The developers paid attention to the Commission’s priorities, demonstrated by the inclusion of a daycare center operated by the YMCA that would double as an arts space on weekends and parks, playgrounds, and a dog park.
12) Comments on Akridge/Jefferson Proposal: The developer included key elements prioritized by the community, including child care, community/meeting space, and retail. The weekend market concept with partial closure of I Street was very well received.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6E is grateful for the opportunity to provide these comments in the hope that the best and final offers received from the developers will address and incorporate as many of the considerations included in this letter as possible. The Commission looks forward to receiving and reviewing the BAFOs shortly.
Alexander M. Padro